A Perfect Getaway (15)

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The Independent Culture

Go into this without prior knowledge of its set-up and a good time awaits.

A couple of newly-weds (Steve Zahn, Milla Jovovich) choose to spend their honeymoon backpacking along the wild, secluded jungle trails of Hawaii. They run into another hiking couple (Timothy Olyphant, Kiele Sanchez) who are friendly but determined survivalists; he's a former special-ops soldier who's allegedly "hard to kill", she's pretty handy when it comes to gutting a goat for a fireside supper. Then news comes of a brutal murder of a newly-wed couple on a nearby island, and the suspicious looks begin to intensify.

Writer-director David Twohy has fun with the needling banter between the men – Zahn plays a budding screenwriter, but Olyphant is the one with the stories, most of them tall, with a mistaken interest in "red snappers". He means red herrings, which make the plot as enjoyably slippery as any pulp thriller of the last year, while a gun, a knife, a hatchet and even a bow and arrow keep the tension high. The acting's rather good, too, Olyphant a model of ambiguity with his sly smile and macho taunts, and Steve Zahn at last suggesting a range beyond loveable numbskulls. Not perfect, by any means, but a top night out.

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